Ipswich City tackles football battle on two major fronts
AS the Ipswich City Bulls prepare to host a massive weekend of football, two women's games will be in the spotlight.
The first is Sunday's showdown between the unbeaten Bulls and Peninsula Power at Sutton Park.
Power lead the Brisbane Women's Premier League competition being undefeated from six matches. The second-placed Bulls are eager to end Power's domination having four victories this season.
Before that 5pm duel, another Bulls side has been making some steady progress.
Although only having a win and a draw in the four-team under-18 competition, the Bulls have been improving.
They play Capalaba in their latest 1pm match at Sutton Park on Sunday.
Ipswich City Bulls Female Football Co-ordinator Liz Ridley said it was important to support that level was much as possible with most sports dealing with the same player shortage challenges.
"The 18s is a very hard age group,'' Ridley said. "They have school, they get jobs, they get boyfriends.''
Before the COVID shutdown, eight teams were expected to play in the Football Brisbane under-18 series. That fell to six then four as this year's competition was kicked off again.
Ridley hoped ongoing junior development and the prospect of playing in future Bulls senior teams would keep more girls returning.
"We want these girls to develop and progress,'' Ridley said.
"There's some handy girls in there. Some of them back up for the Reserve Grade as well.''
Sophie Pollock has earnt a spot on the bench for the Bulls premier league side.
The Bulls under-18 girls highlighted their improvement having recently drawn 2-2 with competition leaders Capalaba and beating Samford 3-2.
The Bulls only lost 3-2 to Logan in last weekend's game at the Brassall venue.
Flynn Winter has been the team's top goal scorer with three. Sharni Kitching and Amalia Salter have netted twice.
While the under-18s continue to hone their skills in the Football Brisbane competition, the Bulls top team is bracing for a mighty battle against Power.
"They're starting to get back to where they were pre-COVID, bonding wise as a team,'' Ridley said. "There's some good players in that side.''
The Bulls Reserves are in fifth spot with three wins and a loss.
Before the big afternoon of women's games on Sunday, the Ipswich City Bulls are also hosting other club matches all day on Saturday.
The main game is a Capital League 1 men's clash between Ipswich City and Virginia United at 5pm.
Sunday: Women's football at Sutton Park
1pm: U18 - Ipswich City v Capalaba.
3pm: Reserves: Ipswich City v Peninsula Power. City League 5: Ipswich City v Slacks Creek.
5pm: Brisbane Women's Premier League - Ipswich City v Peninsula Power.